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Shuanhu Zhou, PhD
Associate Scientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Research Location: Medical Research Building

Phone: (617) 732-5397
Research Email:

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Research Narrative:

Bone is a living tissue which deteriorates with aging due to an imbalance between the activity of cells that continuously generate new bone and cells which reabsorb old bone. Cells which produce new bone, osteoblasts, are differentiated from a type of adult stem cells -- mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are also the progenitors of chondroblasts that form cartilage, and adipocytes that develop into fat.  In my research career, I have been involved in diverse subjects, from chemistry, materials science to biochemistry, and then cell biology, molecular biology and skeletal biology.  My recent studies have been mainly focusing on MSCs, from murine to human.  My current research investigates (1) the effects of aging on human MSCs; (2) how the aging cellular microenvironment (niche) of these stem cells may contribute to their declining ability to produce new bone- and cartilage-producing cells; (3)  the mechanisms of osteoarthritis. 

The overall goal of my research is to contribute new information to basic skeletal biology and orthopedic science using human primary cells, and to understand the mechanisms of skeletal aging and to develop new therapeutic opportunities for aging-related skeletal diseases.  My long-term career goal is commitment an academic research career in the field of biogerontology and orthopedic science, focusing on adult stem cells, their niche and skeletal aging.

My outstanding research during my PhD study made me one of the winners of 2001 Rector Award of Hebrew University for excellent Ph.D. student.  In 2006, I received John Haddad Young Investigator Award from American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. I am a member of National Scientific Advisory Council, American Federation for Aging Research, USA, and an affiliated faculty of Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University, USA.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2001, PhD
Sichuan University, 1985, BS

2001 Rector Award for Excellent Ph.D. student, Hebrew University, Israel.
2006 ASBMR John Haddad Young Investigator Award, USA.
2012 Musculoskeletal Best Paper Award, Biomedical Research Institute, BWH

Other Professional Activities:
National Scientific Advisory Council, 2012-2017, American Federation for Aging Research
Affiliated Faculty, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports

Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Gao Y, Zhou S, Luu S, Glowacki J. Megalin mediates 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 actions in human mesenchymal stem cells. FASEB J. 2019 Jun; 33(6):7684-7693.

2. Luo C, Yang Q, Liu Y, Zhou S, Jiang J, Reiter RJ, Bhattacharya P, Cui Y, Yang H, Ma H, Yao J, Lawler SE, Zhang X, Fu J, Rozental R, Aly H, Johnson MD, Chiocca EA, Wang X. The multiple protective roles and molecular mechanisms of melatonin and its precursor N-acetylserotonin in targeting brain injury and liver damage and in maintaining bone health. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 01; 130:215-233.

3. Zhou S, Glowacki J. Dehydroepiandrosterone and Bone. Vitam Horm. 2018; 108:251-271.

4. Sinha B, Wu Q, Li W, Tu Y, Sirianni AC, Chen Y, Jiang J, Zhang X, Chen W, Zhou S, Reiter RJ, Manning SM, Patel NJ, Aziz-Sultan AM, Inder TE, Friedlander RM, Fu J, Wang X. Protection of melatonin in experimental models of newborn hypoxic-ischemic brain injury through MT1 receptor. J Pineal Res. 2018 Jan; 64(1).

5. Zhou S, Glowacki J. Chronic kidney disease and vitamin D metabolism in human bone marrow-derived MSCs. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 08; 1402(1):43-55.

6. Li J, Padwa BL, Zhou S, Mullokandova J, LeBoff MS, Glowacki J. Synergistic effect of 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and 17ß-estradiol on osteoblast differentiation of pediatric MSCs. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 03; 177:103-108.

7. Liang X, Glowacki J, Hahne J, Xie L, LeBoff MS, Zhou S. Dehydroepiandrosterone Stimulation of Osteoblastogenesis in Human MSCs Requires IGF-I Signaling. J Cell Biochem. 2016 08; 117(8):1769-74.

8. Zhou S, Thornhill TS, Meng F, Xie L, Wright J, Glowacki J. Influence of osteoarthritis grade on molecular signature of human cartilage. J Orthop Res. 2016 Mar; 34(3):454-62.

9. Wu Q, Chen W, Sinha B, Tu Y, Manning S, Thomas N, Zhou S, Jiang H, Ma H, Kroessler DA, Yao J, Li Z, Inder TE, Wang X. Neuroprotective agents for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Drug Discov Today. 2015 Nov; 20(11):1372-81.

10. Fu W, Zhuang W, Zhou S, Wang X. Plant-derived neuroprotective agents in Parkinson's disease. Am J Transl Res. 2015; 7(7):1189-202.